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Arctic fox found scratching at Tennessee woman's door

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Tennessee said they are now caring for an exotic fox that was found scratching at a resident's backdoor to be let inside.

Juniper Russo, the owner of For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, said a woman contacted the organization a few days ago to report a silver fox was scratching at her back door on Soddy-Daisy, and Russo arrived to discover the animal was an Arctic fox.

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Russo shared photos of the fox on social media, and was soon contacted by the animal's most recent caretaker. The man said the fox, Cooper, had belonged to a friend, but he took the fox to his own home after the pet showed signs of neglect.

"The habitat that he had built for Cooper wasn't really suitable for a fox, and he was able to break out pretty quickly, and that's how he ended up, you know, at a stranger's house pawing at the door," Russo told WTVC-TV.

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Russo said the man agreed to surrender custody of Cooper to a sanctuary, and she started him on prescription food to help him gain weight. She said her rescue is only licensed for native species of fox, so Cooper will have a new permanent home at Exotic Pet Wonderland in Knoxville.

Non-native foxes, including Arctic foxes and fennec foxes, are legal to keep as pets in Tennessee without a permit.

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